India is a country with humungous cultures and traditional beliefs and one such faith is the institution of marriage which is a soulful union of the bride and groom. From the baraat till the vidaai, the customs performed under it have someimportance attached to it. Kanyadaan is one ritual in an Indian wedding that encompasses emotional as well as a spiritual significance with itself. With ‘Kanya’ meaning daughter and ‘Dan’ meaning gifting away, let’s unfold the folklore journey of this sanctified sacrament.
One of the most vivacious ceremonies in a Hindu wedding, it signifies a custom where in the bride is a gift to the groom by her parents. It is the only ritual that pulls out the emotional chord of the bride’s parents, especially her father. According to the Vedic scriptures this ritual is carried out after the Mangal feras and is based on the versus of Dharma, Artha and Karma. This custom is considered as the Mahadaan in the Hindu Marriage and is believed to relieve the bride’s parents from all the sins, and bringing fortune into their lives.
The Groom is considered to be the form of Lord Vishnu and the bride as goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. It is a devout and a sensitive affair where the bride’s father formally offers his privileges and responsibilities towards his daughter to the groom and selflessly bids adieu to his beloved daughter. Amidst the chanting of the hymns, the father or in his absence an elderly relative of the bride places the right hand of the girl onto the right hand of the groom known as hastmilap, and in return the groom touches the right shoulder of the bride assuring him thathe will look after her daughter with utmost care and love.
A sentimental moment in every Indian wedding, Kanyadaan is one of the most righteous and conventional part of the Hindu wedding charged with emotions. This sacred union of the bride and groom takes the father to make an ultimate sacrifice giving away his most prized possession to a stranger with a hope to proffer her love, humility and happiness.